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Security Council Members Hold Surprise Meeting On Iran

May 4, 2006 -- The five permanent members of the UN Security Council held unscheduled consultations today on a binding Franco-British draft resolution demanding a halt to Iran's uranium enrichment.

The envoys of Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States met behind closed doors to review the text of the resolution, which was formally introduced yesterday.

UN ambassadors, meanwhile, awaited instructions from their capitals ahead of a vote in the full Security Council, which U.S. officials now say is not expected before May 9.

The Franco-British draft invokes Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which can authorize economic sanctions or even military action as a last resort in cases of threats to international peace and security. It needs at least nine "yes" votes and no veto from any of the council's five permanent members to pass.

Russia and China -- both veto-holding members of the Security Council -- have made clear they do not support sanctions or military force against Iran.


Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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